|When I was young, I eyed the long, tall, yellow Galliano liqueur bottle with suspicion, when I saw it on people’s home bars. Rather than a mark of sophistication, I looked at it as a demonstration of ego. Which it probably was, for most of those guys. Anyhow, I was too young to drink it, and too young to figure out exactly what the symbolism meant.
Fast forward to a few years ago when I was inventing some cocktails, and I found myself wondering what was in that tall bottle, the one that still sat on so many bars. When I was out one day, I asked for a splash, and quickly predicted it would make a come-back soon. No one listens to me about stuff like that, so I was pretty surprised to see Galliano L’Autentico everywhere this fall. A bottle even arrived at my house. Most of our guests seemed to need refresher splashes of it as soon as they saw the bottle. Yep, it’s still the anisey liqueur they remembered, though this updated version has more herbal flavors and less of the sweet vanilla: “A little more, please…”
Recently, I tried my first Harvey Wallbanger cocktail. This being the 21st century, I made it with freshly squeezed orange juice, even though I’m sure the original drinks were made with frozen OJ from concentrate. No matter, it works fine this way.
Then I created my own drink, for a time at the end of the day when I wanted something across between a cocktail and a flute of sparkling wine. Hard Gold, I called it. Not for wimps, it’s one-third Galliano L’Autentico and two-thirds Freixenet Carta Nevada. Both are nearly the same color, and the effect is of a petillant liqueur.
Tonight I might try it with a twist of lemon, to bring out the citrus in the Galliano. In a white wine glass—easy to disguise as wine, when, say, there are too many relatives in the house over the holidays. Or any other day…
Becky Sue Epstein is a Contributing Editor for THE TASTING PANEL. Find her work online at